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Apr 22, 2012

Roar grab back to back AL titles

They will go down as one of the A-League's most dominant sides but it seems nothing is taken for granted by the Brisbane Roar in season deciders.

Last season the Roar famously came back from 2-0 down in extra-time to down Central Coast in a dramatic penalty shootout.

It was a hard act to follow - but the Roar did their darndest in front of yet another sold-out Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

Yet as well as they played, the Roar became the first team to win back-to back A-League titles thanks to a controversial call from referee Jarred Gillett in stoppage time.

Momentum appeared to be going the Roar's way when Besart Berisha created something from nothing, scoring with a well-timed header off an innocuous cross from German talisman Thomas Broich in the 84th minute to cancel out an Ivan Franjic own goal in the 51st.

But nothing could prepare anyone for what was to come.

Just when the Roar looked to have locked in another extra-time grand final nailbiter, Berisha threatened in front of goal only to air swing before falling to the ground.

Somehow Gillett saw a foul on Berisha, who proceeded to convert the matchwinner from the penalty spot as the majority of the packed Suncorp Stadium went nuts for a second straight season.

Albanian international Berisha had equalled the season record tally of 19 goals in 2011-12 before the final - but there were no prizes for guessing which one he cherished the most in his first season with Brisbane.

It was a cruel fate for Perth who at one stage looked set to become the first team since Sydney FC in the 2009-10 season to win an away A-League final.

Indeed at one stage they looked set to cap a remarkable season turnaround after at one stage crashing from second to second-last following just one win in 12 games in 2011-12.

The Glory still looked solid despite having Dean Heffernan sent off in the 93rd minute.

It may be a fitting farewell for Roar coach Ange Postecoglou after he was linked to a lucrative move to Melbourne Victory next season.

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